By Sean Boelman
The Fantasia Film Festival is known as one of the best showcases of genre cinema in the world. After leading the way for digital festivals in 2020 and pivoting to a hybrid format in 2021, the festival returns to an in-person-only edition in 2022. And as always, the lineup is full of exciting genre films that cinephiles will be clamoring to see.
We at disappointment media are excited to again be planning remote coverage of the festival, which runs in Montreal, Canada from July 14 to August 3. Here are some films playing in the lineup that you certainly aren’t going to want to miss:
Carlota Pereda’s Piggy debuted at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, where it made quite the splash in the Midnight section. An expansion of her short of the same name, it’s a vicious little slow-burn thriller with some interesting social commentary. It’s one of those films where you don’t know exactly where it’s heading, and even once you think you know, it has a trick up its sleeve that will catch you off-guard, culminating in an ending that is without a doubt one of the most haunting you will see all year.
Lena Dunham’s coming-of-age film Sharp Stick is pretty much like any other sex comedy… until it isn’t. This isn’t going to be a film for everyone — it’s aggressively ribald nature is going to be too much for some — but for those who are able to get onto its uncomfortable wavelength, it’s going to be a pretty entertaining watch. The main reason to watch this film is the extraordinary cast, including a strong lead performance from Kristine Froseth and a memorable supporting turn from Jon Bernthal.
Genre cinema documentarian Alexandre O. Phillipe’s newest film, Lynch/Oz is perhaps his most academic yet, but it is nonetheless a must-see for any cinephile. A series of essays about the seminal 1939 masterpiece The Wizard of Oz and its influence on several filmmakers, including the eponymous auteur David Lynch. Although it is a bit on the unfocused side, anyone at Fantasia who is interested in learning about the inspiration for their favorite films will certainly want to check this out.
What is a great festival without some exciting retrospective presentations? At this year’s festival, Hong Kong action auteur John Woo is going to be honored with a Career Achievement Award alongside presentations of his classic films Face/Off and Hard Boiled. Cinephiles who are on the ground aren’t going to want to miss these in-person presentations, especially Face/Off, which is perhaps one of the wildest action movies ever made. Nicolas Cage and John Travolta are both among the most exaggerated actors there are, and it’s still amazing to get to see them chew the scenery with one another.
One for the Road
Baz Poonpiriya’s One for the Road debuted at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, where it took home the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Creative Vision and disappeared ever since. It was a refreshing surprise to see it pop up a year and a half later at the Fantasia lineup, which is fitting given that the festival is known for featuring some of the most exciting in Asian cinema there is to see. Cinephiles will want to check out this tender road movie now, because it still doesn’t have distribution in many markets and who knows when you’ll get the chance to see it again.
The 2022 Fantasia Film Festival runs from July 14 through August 3.
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The Snake Hole
Retrospectives, opinion pieces, awards commentary, personal essays, and any other type of article that isn't a traditional review or interview.